Increased vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and dopamine transporter (DAT) expression in adolescent brain development: A longitudinal micro-PET/CT study in rodent

Donglang Jiang, Xiuhong Lu, Zijing Li, Nicklas Rydberg, Chuantao Zuo, Fangyu Peng, Fengchun Hua, Yihui Guan, Fang Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Brain development and maturation in adolescence is a complex process with active changes of metabolic and neurotransmission pathways. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a useful imaging modality for tracking metabolic and functional changes in adolescent brain. In this study, changes of glucose metabolism, expression of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 and dopamine transporter during adolescent brain development in rats were investigated with PET/CT. Methods: A longitudinal PET/CT study of age-dependent changes of VMAT2, DAT and glucose metabolism in adolescent brain was conducted in a group of Wistar rats (n = 6) post sequential intravenous injection of 18 F-PF-(+)-DTBZ, 11 C-CFT, and 18 F-FDG, respectively. PET acquisition was performed at 2, 4, 9, and 12 months of age. Radiotracer uptake in different brain regions, including the striatum, cerebellum, and hippocampus, were quantified and recorded as Standardized uptake value (SUV) and striatal specific uptake ratio (SUVR: SUV in brain regions/SUV in cerebellum). Results: Variable uptake of 18 F-PF-(+)-DTBZ and 11 C-CFT were detected, with highest level uptake in the striatum and accumbens. There was significant age-dependent increase of 18 F-PF-(+)-DTBZ and 11 C-CFT uptake in the striatum from 2 months of age (SUV: 1.36 ± 0.22, 1.37 ± 0.39, respectively), to 4 months (SUV: 2.22 ± 0.29, 2.04 ± 0.33), 9 months (1.98 ± 0.34, 2.09 ± 0.18), 12 months (SUV: 1.93 ± 0.19, 2.00 ± 0.17) of age, SUV of 18 F-FDG also increased from 2 months of age to older ages (SUV in the striatum: 3.71 ± 0.78 at 2 month, 5.28 ± 0.81, 5.14 ± 0.73, 4.94 ± 0.50 at 4, 9, 12 month, respectively). Conclusion: Age-dependent increases of striatal of 18 F-FDG, 18 F-PF-(+)-DTBZ, and 11 C-CFT uptake were detected in rats from 2 to 4 month of age, demonstrating striatal development presents over the first 4 months of age. Four months of age can be considered a safe threshold to launch brain disease studies for exclusion of confusion of continuing tissue development. These findings support further investigation of age-dependent changes in expression of DAT, VMAT2, and glucose metabolism for their potential use as a new imaging biomarker for study of brain development and functional maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1052
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2019


  • Brain development
  • Dopamine transporter (DAT)
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and dopamine transporter (DAT) expression in adolescent brain development: A longitudinal micro-PET/CT study in rodent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this